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Xishuangbanna Dai Minority Park

It is always believed that if Xishuangbanna(西双版纳) was a beautiful peacock, with Olive Dam(橄榄坝) being its tail, then Xishuangbanna Dai Minority Park(西双版纳傣族园) would be the most dazzling feather in the tail. 

Xishuangbanna Dai Minority Park is situated in Olive Dam(橄榄坝) Jinghong City Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture(在西双版纳傣族自治州) Yunnan Province. Being in tropical zone blesses it with ever-green plants. Surrounding by bamboos and fruit trees makes the whole area dressed in green, and full of intoxicating scent. In this green sea hides the unique Dai’s bamboo house for tourists to explore. Together with the exquisite tropical scenery, ancient Buddhist temples paint an extraordinary landscape-painting carrying the meaning of Buddhism. And the gems of Xishuangbanna, five precious Dai villages, present the world with Dai original culture. Xishuangbanna Dai Minority Park is a place where tourists can appreciate not only the natural landscape, but the cultural landscape as well. 

 
Xishuangbanna Dai Minority Park is highly valued by all walks of life. For historians, it’s a living museum narrating the history of Dai Minority; for botanists, it’s a gene base of Plants; for litterateurs, it’s an inspiring wonderland.

Xishuangbanna Dai Minority Park is made up of five Dai villages, Manjiang(曼将),Manchunman(曼春满), Manting(曼听), Manzha(曼乍), Manga(曼嘎).



ManJiang Village(曼将)
 
Manjiang Village is famous for its extraordinary Bamboo house. Bamboo House is the traditional residential house of the Dai people. It has always been regarded as the fruit of Dai Minority’s great wisdom. 

Dai's Bamboo House is mainly constructed by the bamboo, it’s usullay square in shape with two floors. The upper floor which rises two meters above the ground is for the Dai people to live. The lower floor with no walls provides room for sundries, livestock and poultry.  The roof of Dai’s bamboo house is double-layered which is specially designed to drain rain.
 
The steps of a bamboo house have some connection with the status of the family which owns it. The family living in a bamboo house with more steps is of higher status.



Manchunman Village(曼春满)
 
Manchunman Village literally means the village of flowers in English. Legend has it that people were sent there to plant flowers in ancient times, and gradually the place developed into a village. That's how it got the name--- Manchunman.

In Manchunman Village, there is an ancient temple -----Manchunman Buddhist Temple(曼春满佛寺). Built in 583 AD, Manchunman Buddhist Temple is said to be the first temple constructed after the Buddhism was first introduced into Xishuangbanna. 
 


 
With a history of 1,400 years, Manchunman Buddhist Temple has undergone several renovations, but still stands firmly with great elegance and grace. This temple is the main temple of Olive Dam, and enjoys a high status in Southeast Asia as well. Every year, monks and Buddhists from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma etc travel long way there for pilgrimages.

Manchunman Buddhist Temple is composed of four main parts: the main hall, the sutra collection pavilion(藏经阁), the gold pagoda(金塔), the drum tower(鼓楼). 

The main hall is magnificent. In the center of the hall stands a four-meter-high golden statue of Sakyamuni Buddha(释迦牟尼佛祖). It is enormous with forty-four red columns at both sides which are decorated with gilded paintings. Numerous long white flags are hanging there, which is the way of Dai people praying for a good new year.
 
The Sutra Collection Pavilion is on the northeast of the main hall. A lot of precious ancient Pattra-leaf Scriptures(贝叶经) and hand-written scriptures are preserved there.
Note: Pattra-leaf Scriptures are Buddhist scriptures written on pattra leaves, dating back to about two thousand years ago.
 
The golden pagoda in the northwest is built on a square pedestal. It is the symbol of Buddhist temple.
 
 The drum tower is opposite the golden pagoda.
 
 
Manting Village(曼听)
 
Manting Buddhist Temple is located in Manting Village which means imperial garden village. In Manting Buddhist Temple preserved one precious Buddhist relics(舍利).

About Manting Buddhist Temple, there are three extraordinary things: White Pagoda(白塔), Tabaoshu(塔包树), Jiangjunshu(将军树).
 
The white pagoda(白塔) is said to be donated by a princess of Laos. Behind the pagoda, there stands the Buddhist Prayer Room(佛堂) which contains the biggest Sakyamuni Statue in Olive Dam.
 
Tabaoshu is a miraculous sight. It is believed that a pipal tree(菩提树) seed accidentally fell on the top of the pagoda and sprouted and took roots there. It’s considered as the blessing of Buddha.

 
 
Manzha Village(曼乍)

 

Manzha Village (the village of cooks) was named for the fact that it used to be the place where royal cooks were trained in ancient times. Now it’s a place where Dai people from five villages gather together to entertain themselves by blowing Hulusi, performing Elephant-foot Drum Dance. 

Hulusi(葫芦丝) is a typical musical instrument of Dai. There is a story about it. Long long ago, terrifying torrents of water rushed down the mountain and submerged the Dai village. A brave Dai boy holding no fear of those tempestuous waves, carrying a big gourd, jumped into the water to save his beloved girl. The Buddha, moved by his loyalty to love, put a tube on his gourd. The brave boy blew the gourd and it produced beautiful tunes which made waves calm, flowers blossom, peacocks spread their tails. Since then, Hulusi was handed on from generation to generation.

 

 

Elephant-foot Drum is an ancient national instrument of Dai. It shapes like an exquisite goblet. On the body of the drum, it is usually decorated with peacock pictures. Elephant-foot Drum Dance is a kind of dance for male Dai. It's a very essential part of Dai people's life. 


 

 

Water-splashing Square(泼水广场)
 
Water-splashing Square is the main activity area of Xishuangbanna Dai Minority Park, where you can experience "the Oriental Carnival"--- the Water-splashing Festival. The annual Water-splashing Festival is the most popular festival in Yunnan. Although Water-splashing Festival is a once-a – year thing, but Xishaungbanna Dai Minority Park provides tourists opportunities to enjoy the fun of water-splashing every day.
 
The statue in the center of the square is called "The Dai prince leaving for a battle". It’s served as a way to pray for the prince who went into a battle for his people. Monks and Dai people all prayed for his safe return by splashing water.


Mengbala Naxi Arts Theater (勐巴拉娜西剧场)
 
Mengbala Naxi Arts Theater is the largest open-air theater in Yunnan tourists' attractions. A large amount of wonderful Dai shows are performed there such as the peacock dance, fish dance.
 

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